How COVID-19 is Impacting Child Support Cases

When the novel coronavirus was discovered in China, to millions of Americans, it seemed like a distant health concern that wouldn’t reach the United States but thanks to international travel, it did and America will never be the same. At first, Americans didn’t know how to react but by mid-March, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency. Within a couple of weeks, life as we knew it took a drastic turn for the worse.

In an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), schools were closed. Restaurants could only offer drive-thru and takeout options. Movie theatres, arcades, miniature golf, batting cages, gyms, and salons were all ordered to close their doors. And “non-essential” businesses as a whole, were directed to shut their doors and have employees work from home.

While some people had the luxury of keeping their jobs and working from home, millions more were laid off due to COVID-19. For parents who pay child support, being laid off is presenting a whole new set of challenges. But they’re not the only ones. The receiving parents and the children who rely on child support are being affected as well.

Can’t Pay Your Child Support?

Since the coronavirus swept our nation, millions of Americans are out of work. As the money runs dry, people are having difficulty paying their mortgages, their cellphone bills, and their bigger monthly bills like child support. Many of these parents have never fallen behind on child support before, but all of a sudden, they can’t pay it and they don’t know what to do or what to expect from their local child support agency.

If you were laid off because of COVID-19 and you skip your child support payments, it’s important that you’re aware of the types of collection actions the local child support agency can take against you, which include but are not limited to:

  • Driver license suspension
  • Professional and recreational license suspensions
  • Denial of U.S. passport
  • Tax refund intercept
  • Lottery winning intercept
  • Economic stimulus check intercept
  • Negative credit reporting
  • Wage garnishment
  • Bank account seizure
  • Real estate liens

If you are unemployed due to the coronavirus, the worst thing to do is stop paying. Instead, contact our firm right away to explore a downward modification. Child support is not retroactive, so there is no way the court can reduce what you owe starting from the day you lost your job. To protect your financial interests, contact Kaplan Law, L.L.C. today.